Director, George M. Slavich, PhD

George M. Slavich, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Founding Director, Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research
Investigator, Staglin One Mind Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Scientist, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
B.A. (with honors), M.A., & M.A., Stanford University
M.S. & Ph.D., University of Oregon
Clinical Internship, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School
NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship, UCSF & UCLA

Interests: psychoneuroimmunology, social safety, stress, depression, social genomics, health

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Slavich is a leading expert in the conceptualization, assessment, and management of life stress, and in psychological and biological mechanisms linking stress with poor mental and physical health. He developed the first online system for assessing lifetime stress exposure; formulated the first fully integrated, multi-level theory of depression; and is helping pioneer a new field of research called human social genomics, which is revealing how social experiences reach deep inside the body to affect the human genome. His most recent research focuses on Social Safety Theory, which describes how experiences of social safety and threat influence the brain and immune system to affect human health and behavior. This translational work on the psychoneuroimmunology of stress, health, and behavior has been published in several leading journals including Nature Medicine, Nature Communications, JAMA Psychiatry, PNAS, Psychological Bulletin, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, and the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology.

In addition to these research efforts, Dr. Slavich is deeply devoted to teaching and mentoring and to helping develop the next generation of leaders in psychiatry and psychology. In addition to having mentored more than 175 pre- and post-doctoral trainees, early in his career Dr. Slavich founded the Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Conference, Western Psychological Association Student Council, and Society of Clinical Psychology’s Section on Graduate Students and Early Career Psychologists. More recently, he has developed a new approach to classroom instruction called transformational teaching and has written numerous articles on professional development issues in science. He has received 18 awards for these contributions since 2009, including the Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award from the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, Herbert Weiner Early Career Award from the American Psychosomatic Society, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Early Career Research Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, and Raymond D. Fowler Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Professional Development of Graduate Students from the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Slavich completed undergraduate and graduate coursework in psychology and communication at Stanford University, and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. After graduate school, he was a clinical psychology intern at McLean Hospital in Boston and a clinical fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He subsequently completed three years of NIMH-supported postdoctoral training in psychoneuroimmunology at UCSF and UCLA. He is presently a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA, Founding Director of the UCLA Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research, an Investigator at the One Mind Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and a Research Scientist at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. In addition to these research roles, he serves as Director of the UCLA Bruin Stress Resilience Network, Co-chair of the APS National Task Force on Stress Measurement in Primary Care, Director of the California Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (CalSTAR) Network, Director of the Branco Weiss Fellowship International Collaborative Grants Program, and Director of the Global Belonging Collaborative. His work has been covered by many media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Scientific American, TIME Magazine, HBO, NPR, and U.S. News & World Report, among others.

Education and Training

– B.A. in Psychology, with Honors, Stanford University
– M.A. in Personality Psychology, Stanford University
– M.A. in Communication, Stanford University
– M.S. in Clinical Psychology, University of Oregon
– Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Oregon
– Clinical Psychology Internship, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School
– NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, UCSF
– NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychoneuroimmunology, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, UCLA

University Employment

– Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 2010-2015
– Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 2015-2020
– Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 2020-Present

Honors and Awards

– Valedictorian, Santa Clara High School, Santa Clara, CA, 1996
– Member, Stanford University Honors College, Stanford University, 1999

– Inductee, Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology, Stanford Chapter, 2000
– Departmental Honors, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, 2000
– Outstanding Service Award, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, 2001
– Graduation commencement speaker, Department of Psychology, Stanford University, 2001
– Graduate Teaching Fellowship, University of Oregon, 2001-2005
– Finalist, Graduate Teaching Fellows Award, University of Oregon, 2002
– Travel/Research Award, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, 2002
– Oregon Daily Emerald Graduate Teaching Fellow of the Year, University of Oregon, 2003
– University of Oregon Graduate School Research Award, 2003
– Albert Bandura Graduate Research Award, Association for Psychological Science, 2004
– Smadar Levin Award (Honorable Mention), Society for Research in Psychopathology, 2004
– Multivariate Software Outstanding Research Award, Western Psychological Association, 2004
– Robert L. Solso Graduate Student Research Award, Western Psychological Association, 2004
– Edwin B. Newman Graduate Research Award, American Psychological Association, 2005
– Wilbert J. McKeachie Teaching Excellence Award, Society for the Teaching of Psychology, 2005
– Student Research Award, Oregon Psychological Association, 2006
– Student Scholarship Award, Western Psychological Foundation, 2006
– Instructional Resource Award, Society for the Teaching of Psychology, 2006
– Beck Institute Scholar, Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, 2008-2009
– Society in Science: Branco Weiss Fellowship, 2009-2013
– Robert E. Harris Award for Health Psychology, UCSF, 2009
– Neal E. Miller New Investigator Award, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, 2011
– Enrico E. Jones Early Career Award for Research in Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology, Western Psychological Association, 2011
– Best Clinical Research Abstract, 8th Annual UCLA Basic and Translational Science Symposium, 2011
– Raymond D. Fowler Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Professional Development of Graduate Students, American Psychological Association, 2012
– Theodore H. Blau Early Career Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Clinical Psychology, Society of Clinical Psychology and the American Psychological Foundation, 2012
– Early Career Research Award, Western Psychological Association, 2012
– Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 2012

– Outstanding Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 2014
– Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Early Career Research Award, Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, 2015
– Early Career Award, Society for Research in Psychopathology, 2015
– Early Career Investigator Award, Society of Behavioral Medicine, 2015
– Herbert Weiner Early Career Award, American Psychosomatic Society, 2016
– Outstanding Research Mentor Award, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 2016
– Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology by an Early Career Professional Award, Society for Health Psychology, 2017
– Outstanding Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, 2018
– Outstanding Teaching Award, Western Psychological Association, 2020

Publications

Available Here

Professional Activities (Selected)

Scientific Meetings Organized

Integrated Multi-Level Approaches to Psychosocial Processes and Health, Boston, MA, 2017 | Program
Innovations in Stress Measurement & Research, co-organized as part of the National Institute on Aging-Supported Stress Measurement Network, Chicago, IL, 2016 | Program
Psychoneuroimmunology: Recent Findings and Clinical Implications, Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences, Split, Croatia, 2015
– Genes & Environment: Finding the Missing Heritability of Complex Traits, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2010 | Website | CallProgram
– Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Conference, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2001-Present | Website | 2001 Call, Program | 2002 Call, Program | 2003 Call, Program | 2004 Call, Program | 2005 Call, Program | 2006 Call, Program | 2007 Call | 2008 Call, Program | 2009 Call, Program | 2010 Call, Program | 2011 Call, Program | 2012 Call, Program | 2013 Call, Program | 2014 Call, Program | 2015 Call, Program | 2016 Call, Program

Current Leadership Positions & Major Committees

– Standing Member, National Institute on Aging (NIA) Working Group on Stress Conceptualization and Assessment, 2011-Present
– Standing Member, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Working Group on Life Stress, Emotion, and Cancer, 2012-Present
– Expert Consultant, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Working Group on Common Measures for Assessing Psychiatric and Psychosocial Processes, 2013-Present
– Expert Consultant, Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program, National Institutes of Health, 2014-Present
– Associate Director, National Institute on Aging (NIA) Stress Measurement Network, 2015-Present
– Director, Branco Weiss Fellowship International Collaborative Grants Program, 2016-Present

– Co-chair, APS National Task Force on Stress Measurement in Primary Care, 2018-Present
– Director, Bruin Stress Resilience Network, 2019-Present
– Director, California Stress, Trauma, & Resilience (CalSTAR ) Network, 2020-Present
– Director, Global Belonging Collaborative, 2021-Present 

Editorial Experience

– Editor, Student Forum, The Clinical Psychologist, 2006-2009
– Editor, Translational Neuroscience, 2012-present
– Editorial Board, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2013-present
– Editorial Board, Health Psychology, 2017-present
– Editorial Board, Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 2017-present
– Editorial Board, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity – Health, 2019-present
– Editorial Board, Stress, 2020-Present
– Editorial Board, Journal of Belonging and Human Connection, 2021-present

– Ad-Hoc Reviewer: Science; Molecular Psychiatry; American Journal of Psychiatry; JAMA Psychiatry; Biological Psychiatry; Psychological Bulletin; Clinical Psychology Review; Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews; Human Brain Mapping; The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry; Schizophrenia Bulletin; American Psychologist; Clinical Psychological Science; Psychological Science; Psychological Medicine; Health Psychology; Psychoneuroendocrinology; Psychosomatic Medicine; Brain, Behavior, and Immunity; Journal of Behavioral Medicine; Biological Psychology; Frontiers in Human Neuroscience; Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Journal of Abnormal Psychology; Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology; Harvard Review of Psychiatry Comprehensive Psychiatry; Child Development; Journal of Health Psychology; Journal of Psychiatric Research; Experimental Biology and Medicine; Cancer Medicine; Genes, Brain, and Behavior; PLoS One; Physiological Genomics; Brain Imaging and Behavior; International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology; European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience; European Journal of Psychological Assessment; International Journal of Behavioral Medicine; Journal of Affective Disorders; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition; Cognition and Emotion; Cognitive Therapy and Research; Social Science Research; Psychiatry Research; Anxiety, Stress, & Coping; Bipolar Disorders; Gender Medicine; Child Abuse & Neglect; Ethnicity and Health; Motivation and Emotion; BMC Psychiatry; Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology; and Teaching of Psychology, among others.

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